PRAGUE (AP) — Vladimir Safarik has taken over as captain of the Czech Republic's Davis Cup team for this week's final against Serbia after Jaroslav Navratil was hospitalized with a blood clot.
Navratil, who has been in charge since 2006, guided the Czechs to the country's first Davis Cup title as an independent nation with a 3-2 victory over Spain last year in Prague. He was hospitalized last week with a pulmonary embolism, a blood clot in the lung.
Safarik, a former tennis coach, is the director of a company that organizes the Czech team's Davis Cup ties. He was the captain of the Fed Cup team in 1992. Navratil called Safarik "the right person" to take over.
The Czechs will rely heavily on Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek for this week's matches on an indoor hard court in Belgrade. Lukas Rosol and Jan Hajek are also on the team.